The Calgary Flames wore their sweet Heritage Classic retro jerseys on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. While the Flames looked snazzy, their defensive performance was lacking. They gave up many, many good chances en route to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Habs.

The Rundown

The Flames opened the scoring about midway through the first period. Andrew Mangiapane made a heads up play, knocking down an errant Habs clearing pass and heading to the net. A Montreal player blocked his attempted shot, but it was collected by Elias Lindholm, whose shuffle pass to Matthew Tkachuk was put past Carey Price to make it 1-0 Flames.

Late in the period Noah Hanifin drew a penalty and the Flames power play went to work. Johnny Gaudreau found Tkachuk with a cross-zone seam pass, and Tkachuk sent it back across the slot over to Lindholm at the far post for a tap-in to make it 2-0 Flames.

Shots were 14-10 Canadiens and scoring chances 14-7 Canadiens in the opening period.

The Habs were all over the Flames in the second period and scored twice to even up the game.

The first goal was a rough one for David Rittich, as Brendan Gallagher was in the corner straddling the goal line and banked the puck in off Rittich’s pad – he didn’t seal it against the post – from an awful angle to cut the Calgary lead to 2-1.

The second Montreal goal was vintage second period Flames. The Flames got caught up ice on a line change, leaving the defenders to play against a three-on-two rush. Joel Armia was the third man into the zone and the Flames couldn’t get back fast enough to disrupt the pass, so he got a clean wrister off and beat Rittich to make it 2-2.

Shots were 16-7 Canadiens and scoring chances 10-8 Canadiens in the second.

The Flames grabbed a lead early in the third period off a super scrambly sequence during some four on four hockey. Rittich made a save on an Armia breakaway. Then he stopped Brett Kulak grabbing the loose puck. Then Hanifin sprang Gaudreau into the offensive zone, but he had nowhere to go. So he waited for Oliver Kylington to stroll into the zone and his wrister beat Carey Price high glove to make it 3-2 Flames.

But the Habs tied the game up again a little while later. Nick Cousins put the puck towards the net and Nick Suzuki, battling in front, redirected the shot up and over Rittich to make it a 3-3 deadlock.

Shots were 7-7 and chances 11-8 Flames in the third period.

This game went to overtime. After a bit of back-and-forth play, Max Domi went post-and-in with a wrister on Rittich to make it a 4-3 Habs win.

Why the Flames Got A Point

They bounced back from a pretty ugly second period to make the Canadiens earn a trip to overtime.

But overall, they were really leaky defensively and probably played their worse overall game since Geoff Ward took over as interim coach.

Red Warrior

We’re defaulting to the goalie, as Rittich faced 43 shots and stopped 39 of them.

Tkachuk, Lindholm and Gaudreau all also had pretty strong games overall.

The Turning Point

If Rittich doesn’t make that breakaway save on Armia… or the save right after that on Kulak, Kylington doesn’t have a chance to get the Flames a lead. That entire sequence was huge and probably got the Flames their point right there.

The Numbers

Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.

Frolik 65.4 60.0 0.550
Monahan 60.9 71.4 0.090
Bennett 59.3 50.0 0.355
Backlund 59.1 57.1 0.285
Brodie 57.1 27.3 0.550
Rieder 55.2 60.0 0.195
Hamonic 51.2 63.6 0.225
Hanifin 50.0 72.7 0.325
Giordano 47.8 35.7 0.475
Gaudreau 44.7 29.4 0.950
Mangiapane 44.4 66.7 0.600
Lindholm 44.4 66.7 1.390
Tkachuk 31.4 60.0 0.800
Lucic 29.6 30.8 -0.465
Dube 28.6 83.3 -0.350
Andersson 23.1 57.1 -0.700
Ryan 21.9 28.6 -0.895
Kylington 21.7 45.5 0.225
Rittich 0.900

This and That

The Flames have two overtime losses so far this season wearing their retro white jerseys.

Up Next

The Flames (18-14-5) practice tomorrow and the hit the road. They’re back in action on Sunday night when they face the Dallas Stars.

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